How to: Build landscape layers, step by step

Posted by Kathryn Silvera on

  1. Start with a canvas or mixed media paper, a collection of brushes (large square, various sizes angled and round), water, and an old rag
  2. Pick your palette, I chose a dark water garden theme, so blue/green/red(for purple)
  3. Drop the paint right on to the paper or canvas and use a large brush to get all the good stuff everywhere, you want everything covered.  Don't worry too much about what color is going where, but let individual colors shine.  Meaning, try not mixing all your colors into one homogeneous color.
  4. Let the fun begin! Grab a medium square brush and feel out your own random, artistic order for dabbing on slightly watered down acrylics (I'm using fluid acrylics)  to your paper.  Leave open areas.
  5. Beginning details with two sizes of angled brushes, I took the same colors from the background and added white, I also incorporated a hand-mixed purple too.  Go over the same area from step 4.
  6. At this point your landscape will show itself, yay!  Take slightly watered-down white paint and paint the sky with it.  Immediately wipe off with your rag, creating an interesting effect.  If your paint had too much water and all your paint disappeared, no worries, take two!!
  7. Use small brushes that work for you to make clusters of dots and small corndog-like shapes in the same areas as steps 4 and 5, use a contrasting/lighter/darker color than the background.  Combined with the other steps they'll look like abstract flowers and you want them to pop.
  8. with an old brush/fluffy one add in some bushes with a light hand, touch your paint and press the paper lightly.
  9. With an angle brush use a bright color to add larger pieces of grass to the foreground.
  10. Sit back and admire your hard work, good job girl!

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